Dear freshers, here’s the real truth about living as a student in Cardiff

We’re unpacking it all here: from pin-size bedrooms to the streets on bin day


Student halls often get a bad rep, being notorious for unwashed dishes, overflowing bins, and racked-up bottles of vodka. But how bad can Cardiff student living be?

We asked Cardiff students about their opinions on the worst student accommodation, and what was the worst thing about student living? Out of all the responses, the majority voted that Cardiff student living is gross. So, what makes Cardiff’s student living so bad in students’ eyes?

‘A real-life Faulty Towers’

Your friends for life is worth the hike, right?

We’ll start with first-year accommodation. We asked which Taly accommodation was the worst between Taly Gate, Court, South, and North. No surprise here – Taly North topped the leaderboard by a landslide, with 67 per cent of students rating it the worst.

As a “real life Faulty Towers” then, how is it worse than the rest?

First off, if you can look past the rooms which have been compared to “a mash-up between an office and a caravan”, or better yet a “prison cell” then you may be onto a winner.

The kitchens are small, you’ll need a timetable to schedule your dinner, according to many ex-residents the management is certainly nothing to write home about.

It seems to be luck of the draw as to whether you land a refurbished block or not, but either way Taly North is hardly the Ritz. The silver lining is that the friends you make here are friends for life, nothing can break a bond formed in the pin-size kitchen of Taly north.

‘It is a bit of a slum’

Can’t beat a five minute walk to the nearest spoons

We asked Cardiff students to vote for the worst student halls out of  Colum Hall, Aberconway, Senghenydd, and Aberdare halls.

Senghenydd, lovingly referred to as ‘Senghetto’, scored the highest number of students rating it the worst!

The part catered hall residence of Senghenydd doesn’t tend to be a freshers first choice…surprisingly. Despite delivering on location, the halls fail to deliver on, well, pretty much anything else – according to students. One student said: “the location is perfect, although it is a bit of a slum.” Lush.

According to ex-residents you can expect the luxury of tiny bedrooms, no storage, no social space, and wonderful shared bathroom horror stories. But that being said, for some the central location outweighs all the cons. Location, location, location!

Bin day hell: our least favourite walk around town

Thumbs up if you can smell this picture

Besides the worst accommodation, we asked students what the worst part of student living was and coming in first place: you voted the bins. Any surprise here?

What isn’t there to love about lugging leaky bins rammed with forgotten food and half-empty cans of cider down a couple of floors in your slippers? Or better yet: what about the rubbish strewn across your garden after the seagulls have gotten to it? No, but seriously, the bins are a good enough reason for housemates to snake each other and accidentally “forget” it was their turn to do the bins, it might be wrong but can you blame them?

Something that kept coming up as we spoke to Cardiff students was avoiding the streets on bin day. Unless you’re a seagull, it’s true that Cathays streets on a Wednesday morning are to be avoided at all costs.

Have you walked in Cathays if you haven’t been confronted by a rat?

What’s Cardiff living without our infamous housemates we didn’t know we would have? Here’s a shoutout to the rats. We remember going into second year thinking that rats were a thing of Taly, but no, they’re in Cathays too. Yay for our furry friends that corner us in the street.

Yes, sometimes it does feel like there are probably as many rats as there are students in Cardiff but at the end of the day, that’s all part of the glitz and glamour of Cardiff student life. However, the question of the day remains: is it just us, or have the rats gotten a lot bigger this year?

Messy housemates make uni life worth it

A fun little obstacle course

Besides the bins and the rats, Cardiff students said that leaving washing up for weeks before doing it and finally binning food you “accidentally” left, was another one of top terrible things here. It seems hard to decipher which is worse between the two but both are shamefully self-inflicted if you voted for either.

Spare a thought for the neat freaks around and how they just have to put up with everyone else figuring out how to keep a tidy house (and usually failing.) And if you’re that person who leaves it for the rest of the group to take care of, shame on you but also: same.

Could potentially be sold on overheard for a fiver?

Student living in Cardiff is very much like Russian roulette, from which uni halls you get landed with to whether you end up lumping it with messy housemates. Maybe what we’ve learnt here is that the worst part of student living is students – imagine we did the bins on time, and did the washing as soon as possible we’d all be much happier. That’ll be the day.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• It’s time to vote for the grimmest uni halls in the entire country

• A report has compared uni halls to prisons and tbh, fair

• Which love island cast member is your Cardiff Uni halls?